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Unrestricted free agency: Day two activities to watch

The second day of free agency is likely to bring another flurry of activity with Dolphins connections.

To start, the club is trying to upgrade at tight end after failing to land their prime target Jared Cook on Tuesday. Today, Jets tight end Dustin Keller is scheduled to visit with the team. If Keller doesn't work out, the club may look into Oakland's Brandon Myers.

Keller, 29 in September, has been a steady performer for the Jets but last season was hurt much of the time and only played eight games. He was known as one of quarterback Mark Sanchez's favorite targets when healthy.

Keller is not necessarily an all-purpose tight end as his blocking has been oft questioned in the past.

The Dolphins need a tight end after letting Anthony Fasano move on to Kansas City.

Offensive tackle Jake Long is in St. Louis to undergo a thorough physical. The Rams want to get their bearings on Long's injury status -- particularly with his left triceps, right biceps and both knees -- before they commit to paying him any sort of significant money as a free agent.

This should play out pretty simply:

If Long checks out medically to the team, the Rams will try to close Long. With Jermon Bushrod (Chicago) and Sam Baker (Atlanta) off the market, Long is considered the next best availableleft  tackle -- assuming he's in one piece.

The Dolphins would like to have Long back. But they don't want to overpay for a player they know has been medically, what's the word, predisposed to injuries the last couple of years.

They have what they believe is a good value placed on Long but if the Rams, who need desperately to protect quarterback Sam Bradford, place a higher value on Long, he's gone. If it's a tie, my guess is Long leaves.

This has been an emotional time for Long (who knew he had emotions) and he's been somewhat frustrated by the Dolphins not entirely trusting his health. By the way, I applaud the Dolphins for not trusting.

So really the only way the Dolphins keep him is by outbidding St. Louis. I suppose there is a chance Long takes other visits, but my guess is today will be a big day for him.

Today will probably also be a big day for Reggie Bush.

He is in Detroit to visit with the Lions. They are already on record as offering Bush a deal worth "well north of $3 million per season" and they want him as their lead running back.

So really, all that needs to work here is a fit and comfort level for Bush and the team. Yes, Bush has other suitors, most notably the Arizona Cardinals. But the Cards don't have much of an offensive line or proven answers at quarterback.

Bush is getting to that time in his career where he wants to be on a winner. The Lions offer that potential much more than the Cardinals do. Look for Bush to sign today as well if his questions are answered.

Bush isn't coming back to the Dolphins.

On yet another front, Sean Smith is a curious case. His agent was expecting a big market for his client but that big market didn't show up on the first day of free agency.

Indeed, the first day was something of a disappointment for the flooded cornerback market.

Darrelle Revis wasn't traded -- yet. Namdi Asomugha was cut by the Eagles, and the most notable signees were DeAngelo Hall in Detroit, Darius Butler in Indianapolis and Bradley Fletcher in Philadelphia.

Not exactly earth-shattering stuff.

Smith was originally supposed to visit Kansas City. But the Chiefs made other moves and are not bouyant in salary cap space. Agent David Canter also said Smith would be taking other trips but declined to name the teams.

Whenver an agent says that, he's trying to gain leverage for his client. Smith may indeed have multiple clubs wanting him to visit. But it's clear none at this point are willing to meet his demands of a contract that pays $8 million or so per year.

That kind of deal gets done quickly by a team with cap space and a strong conviction on a player. If Smith isn't done by the end of the day, it will strongly suggest no team is willing to do that kind of deal for him.

And with each passing hour, the chances of Smith returning to the Dolphins increase because, well, his market shrinks and looks closer to what Miami valued the player at. So today is huge for Sean Smith.

As to the players the Dolphins are still hoping to land, I keep hearing the name Brandon Gibson.

The Rams free agent wide receiver is visiting the Jets today. But he has other suitors. A league source said Gibson might take as many as four other trips -- with the Dolphins being one of them.

But ...

It's clear that in the preliminary talks Gibson's agent had with teams, the Jets stepped up the most and thus get the first visit. If the Jets don't close, the market for this receiver drops somewhat.

The Miami vision for Gibson is interesting. Yes, he's a wide receiver but he's very, very much a possession guy. He'd be a third wide receiver on the Dolphins behind Mike Wallace and Brian Hartline. He might be a bigger Davone Bess.

And so if the Dolphins add Gibson, what are they going to do with Bess?

If the Dolphins do not re-sign Sean Smith, the club has free agent options but those will be of the cheap variety. Miami showed interest over the weekend in Detroit's Chris Houston and San Diego's Antoine Cason.

Houston, however,  was reportedly negotiating a three-year deal with the Lions on Tuesday. We'll follow how that plays out.

Cason is a player the Chargers would like back but at a reasonable price. He made $1.2 million in 2012. He's a big corner at 6-1 and he has 12 interceptions in his five-year career. I like him more than Smith, to be honest.

The Lions and Browns also have shown interest in Cason.

Brent Grimes is a player the Dolphins had some interest in but that seemed to cool somewhat even as other teams seemed more enthusiastic.

Derek Cox, formerly of Jacksonville, is also on the Miami radar. He fits Miami's desire for a big cornerback more than Grimes. He's 6-1. He's aggressive. He makes plays as his four interceptions in 12 games during 2012 attests. He has an injury history the past two years, but he finished strong last year. He's another one I like more than Smith.

[BLOG NOTE: Tuesday was the greatest single day for unique visitors and total page views in the seven-year history of my blog. I had as many visitors yesterday as I normally get in a week. But don't stop now. There will be lots of stuff going on today, so check back regularly for updates.]

 

Comments

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DC, I believe Gibson is on the radar because Philbins system won't utilize the TE's as much in the run game. Cook isn't a blocker & they chased him. Same with Keller now. It's a philosohical shift.

This is a passing league & a passing Offense now. THat is part of the reason in letting Fasano walk. This team needs a receiving TE threat, not a blocker. I anticipate they'll make due with anyone at TE.

This is further evidenced when they drafted a purely receiving threat at TE in egnew last year. The problem is, his was weaker/dumber than they probably thought.

Must have been Aloco Yesterday. So now I have no point ;)

"[BLOG NOTE: Tuesday was the greatest single day for unique visitors ....."

Unique Trolls, That's for sure.

phins78 u are overrating wheeler big time. basically same player as burnett

agree bobby i would love pollard intimidating other teams but dont see philbin wanting him

Dusty,

Just on yesterday's work alone, I believe this team can compete for a wildcard. Didnt say become, but compete.

So, IMO, Ireland would have to land a total draft day goose egg to screw up what he's done so far. If Ireland hit on even 2 of his draft picks, that puts us that much closer to becoming a definite wildcard team.

C. Houston reupped in Detroit.

I can see Pollard landing in New Englad!

Yeah, Phins78. Both of these new LBs are pass rushers- both much better than Dansby and Burnett. A slimmed down Odrick at DE with 2nd year Vernon mixed in and I think we now have weapons to start putting Brady on his butt.

Look for the D to be more aggressive with blitz packages from the LBs. Dansby and Burnett could never get to the QB but it'll be a different story this year.

Of course, the usual FA caveat applies as each of these guys has essentially shown only one year of good production.

Spent the day in Orlando yesterday, so didnt get to post on developments until I got back home late.

Between my Orlando trip yesterday and posting today, Im all worn out. Have a great day guys.

most every team in nfl competes for a wc, so ill agree

LOL my fear is I don't like banking on too many unknowns. I understand what the HOPE is for all of these players and eventual signings but until they prove anything I have to be cautiously optimistic.

Like with Miller. The kid seems to be a good running back. But he hasn't even had a full work load yet, we have no clue how he will perform in a bigger role.

Also something people seem to be forgetting, no matter who we sign. Will Tannehill take the next step in his development or is he going to remain a bottom of the pack QB? This is the biggest equation of all this season. This team will go as far as Tannehill can take them. Does anyone know what his season will bring, improvement, more of the same? Who knows

Is Martin going to get better and prtotect Tannehills blind spot? Another question and another expectation that is really just a hope. Lots of questions that signing a couple of players can't possibly answer. Love that Jeffs trying, I'm just saying to the people screaming at us that Jeff is now God, they may want to take it back a bit until we see how it works out.

YG, I said the same thing earlier. With the Steelers & Ravens being in big trouble, the wildcard is there for the taking. Cincy should cruise to a division title based on where those clubs are today.

Most of it will depend on whether or not Tanny is going to become an above average QB or turn into Mark Sanchez.

phins78 u hit it on the head. thill determines whole season. can u take new steps or will he go backwards. the quickness of his development is everything


The Jaguars released Robinson. He had some concussion issue's last season and they're releasing him primarily due to his wage but...

He had 11 TDs for Dallas in 2011 playing with a good receivers and a decent QB. The Jaguars had Gabbert to pass to him who is almost certainly a bust (10th overall pick) whilst Shorts and Blakmon were the main targets.

If he can be signed for very little money Robinson could make a productive 3rd receiver whilst still keeping Bess.


I also hope Ireland takes a look at Pollard (Baltimore are basically rebuilding around Flacco for the next few years) and Woodhead.

Phins78,

I ask myself this:

If the fins didnt 100% see signs in Tannehill they didnt completely love. Would they spend 13 million getting him a wr?

Let this salivate for a minute.

phins78, see my post right below yours. I echo the same sentiment. Tanny will be the detemrining factor.

we shall find out yesterday, gonna be a very interesting season and thats all ross wanted, this will bring back season ticket holders

Yesterday, that's really irrelevant. They drafted him & have to equip him since they aren't going to pick a QB high. They have no choice but to give him a WR.

with our current oline i can guarantee u that moore will see the field plenty cause thill gonna get killed

Also, Peyton Manning might throw 20 tds with the recieving corps we had lastyear. Tannehill threw for 13 tds.

We all knew Tannehill wasnt going to be Peyton Manning his 1st season. Year 1, seemed to be about the handling of Tannehill, testing to see what we really had. IMO, he passed.

dusty, moeaki was a threat and showed awesome athleticism in rookie year. then he got injured. let's see what he does this year.


I remember that first game in the 2011 season. Monday night football Patriots vs Dolphins. Brady and the no huddle offense tore the dolphins defense apart. Burnett and Dansby hands on knees sucking in breath. It was embarressing.

Baltimore in the play offs. That LB covering the whole field, getting to or near the ball every play? Ray Lewis? No it was Ellerbe he controled the area 5-10 yards behind the line usually owned by the Patriots offense.

If the Dolphins can add another pass rusher Brady will be falling over to avoid the sack for most of the game. That guys loves falling over, especially without Vollmer to help him.


Yesterday, that's really irrelevant. They drafted him & have to equip him since they aren't going to pick a QB high. They have no choice but to give him a WR.

Posted by: LOL | March 13, 2013 at 12:33 PM

LOL,

If this is the case, they didnt have to go out and spend 13 million on Marshall. They could have have added a wr in the 2nd or 3rd rd of the draft far cheaper and appeased some fans we're upgrading the wr position.

yes mark and has been injured since. they drafted him knowing that was the sad part, was hurt all through college also. bad pick

Wallace

In terms of the offensive line there is something about Mike Pouncey that puts me at ease. He seems like the kind of guy that brings a unit together.

Tannehill had a respectable year without any true weapons. He held it together and at no point did he seem like the game was too big for him.

This was the right time to take a few chances and after listening to Wallace he seems like a good fit. Doesn't come off as someone who is a diva and certainly seems to be happy.

Think about it, we're missing a lineman and a TE. No worries, plenty of time. Same on D, we need some CBs. No worries, that market is silly right now.

Dusty I disagree. I think Wheeler brings an entirely different skill set.

He's excellent in coverage, rated the 5th best lb in coverage last year (Burnett was 14th) and he was the second best pass rushing OLB only behind Von Miller.

So the Dolphins struggle in lbs covering TEs and receivers AND they struggle rushing the passer. Wheeler excels at both.

The scary thing is Ellerbe was rated 49th in coverage and Dansby was close to top 10. YIKES! Hopefully they will be relying on Misi and Wheeler in coverage and keeping Ellerbe close to the line.

DC, if we sign keller, I think you can say bye bye to Eifert at 12. What I would expect is one of Ertz, Vance McDonald to be drafted in round 2. Both guys are three down TEs but personally I think McDonald would be a bit better in that "Fasano" role. One wildcard is Gavin Escobar of SD State, who I'm not personally crazy about but I've read reports that we are "hot on his trail". An Escobar in Miami??

Then there's always guys on the roster like Mastrud who are capable blockers but give you less than zilch in the passing game. Would be better off putting Yeatman in that role as a glorified lineman.

Yeah YG that doesn't mean they believe Tannehill is a franchise qb yet (imo). To me, you can't find out if a QB is going to be your guy unless you get him some weapons.

Reverse your theory. You say they believe in him so they are getting him weapons. What if they had their doubts? Are you saying they wouldn't give him weapons to work with in order to see if it would help? That's where I believe they are. I in no way believe they are 100% certain on Tannehills future.

Let that marinate ;)

I would have a free agent of the cheap variety rather than Smith. Hope Ireland closes a deal today. Cox and Cason both look like serious upgrades when compared to Smith.

the 2 throws that scare me the most about thill was the one int vs jets for a td and the awful throw into the endzone vs seattle

bobby, I agree about pollard. This guy hates the Pats and is as outspoken as anyone about it. I'd love to have him for those two games alone. As local comic Russell Peters says ... "Someone is going to get hurt real bad!"

Posted by: Yesterday's Gone 4Ever! | March 13, 2013 at 12:39 PM

WHAT!*&? Of course they had to sign a guy like Wallace or Jennings! Every Phin fan & everyone in NFL circles knew Miami was going to!

After seeng the crew Miami had last year & how Ireland has drafted WR's, you REALLY believe a fan would consider a 2nd or 3rd pick at WR an upgrade? That's delusional!

A guy who may never be active or even make the team?

EVERYONE knew Miami was going to invest in an established NFL WR. It had nothing to do with what they see in Tanny.

It's that they invested a top 10 pick on a talanted but, raw rookie. They aren't using a high pick on qa QB thi syear. They knew they had to equip the guy they had, regardless if they saw talent or not. They had no choice!

For god sakes, they did it for Henne with Marshall why wouldn't they do it for Tanny?

phins78 bet u were fired up when they first got burnett also. was basically same guy

mark they better not take a te at 12

Phins78, while Ellerbe's best skills are not in the pass defense area, QB rating against Dansby was 102.0 and only 97.1 against Ellerbe as recorded by PFF. I think there's some potential there and hope the coaches can tap into it.

LOL I see we are on the same page. Dusty too. That is the key to this whole thing. Hopefully Tannehill will take that next step.

Billcale....

remember all that SMOKE SCREEN stuff you were so sure of...lol.....

Even after I gave you history lesson in the FINS tactics...and sighted RECENT players and coaches as examples...you refused to acknowledge it....

All I can say is....

WELCOME TO MIAMI MR. WALLACE....

"not a Philbin guy"...lol...

yeah im pretty sure anyone who actually watches the game knows those rankings are garbage, dansby was awful vs pass


To those writer's and fan's who feel we should keep SS. Do you live in a parallel-universe ? If we keep SS we still still wouldn't have a #1 CB. That is assuming that CB's are judged on knock-downs, pic's, and tackles at the point of reception. I firmly feel that we will take one of the "E-named" TE's in the draft if we don't land a sure-handed FA TE. Good reporting and comments. I still wish we would make a run at Dashon Goldson. Go Dolphins !!

updates?

Green Bay has offered Jennings 10 million per year!! All you guys who complained about Wallace? We got a youunger guy, not injury prone for 2 million more on average then Jennings. Your should all be thrilled

dansby was awful, he couldnt cover any te in nfl. dude was huge free agent bust

Posted by: dusty bottoms | March 13, 2013 at 12:02 PM

Linebackers are Made to stop the run if you going be in man coverage and blitz you should be able to walk your safety down and cover the linebacker. Dansby was was better in run support. I agree with the move cause of the age and price but the production wasn't enough for if that is what you basing the move off of.

Interesting to see what happens today. If Ireland can land a tackle, a tight end, and a corner (or 2) we are in great shape going into the draft. Even if 2 of these positions is addressed its a big step forward.

The 5 picks in the top 85 of the draft is a great option as well. I also look for them to take some chances on secondary needs as well in the draft. The team can also make even more cap room by getting rid of Patterson and Carpenter.

'DC, I believe Gibson is on the radar because Philbins system won't utilize the TE's as much in the run game. Cook isn't a blocker & they chased him. Same with Keller now. It's a philosohical shift.

This is a passing league & a passing Offense now. THat is part of the reason in letting Fasano walk. This team needs a receiving TE threat, not a blocker. I anticipate they'll make due with anyone at TE.

This is further evidenced when they drafted a purely receiving threat at TE in egnew last year. The problem is, his was weaker/dumber than they probably thought.'

LOL,

Great post. Just look at GB's offense & what they ask the TE to do.

In Cooks four year career he has averaged 2 TDs per season, under 50 receptions per year, and his yards per game average are 29.1.

I never understood why any Dolphins fans thought this guy was a must have. He's average at best. Ertz or Eifert will be far more productive on the pro level imo.

Posted by: Phins78 | March 13, 2013 at 12:08 PM

agreed 10X over

s greene went to titans. fins still trying for mendenhall

I'd rather see the Fins keep Bess over Hartline. Anyone agree? Obviously Hartline is staying.

Posted by: Tam | March 13, 2013 at 12:17 PM

Agreed as well, however Bess is limited to the slot. also his lack of speed is a real hindrance.

ya'll fruit cakes 'member last season dansby bush and some others bytched 'bout someone gettin cut?
well looksy now.
lol

Dusty you have your own thoughts and I'm just stating my opinion here, not trying to be a know it all. I don't worry about that throw in Seattle for a couple of reasons. I watched Favre and Manning make a handful of those throws in their first seasons. Tannehill more than most qbs Ive seen lately seems to learn extremely quick. He doesn't seem to make the same mistakes twice. His problems are more from lack of experience and have very little to do with smarts. The kid is nothing else if not intelligent.

The second thing is he has a bit of a gun slinger mentality and I love that. Shows me h e has the guts Henne and so many before him never had. He's not afraid to take some chances and fit some balls into tight windows. He doesn't hold back on those throws and a QB like that is going to throw some bad ints but the good will outweigh the bad if he is accurate which is another thing Tannehill is working on. He just needs those reps.

Upside is great, can he take advantage and get better? I'm anxious to find out.

offered jennings 10 mill weeks ago, offer has come down now. smith being pursued heavily by sf and eagles

Mark in Toronto....

Whats up with your affinity for garbage players....Fasano sucks man....makes a play 2...maybe 3 times a year tops....

were you a coal worker in a former life....so now you root for the guys that "try hard".....

SKILL beats heart 90% maybe 85 % of the time....I like those odds....

oh i agree phins78, im not down at all on thill. love the fact we finally are developing a qb

Hey Kris, somebody has to be devil's advocate or things will get messy in here...

and I'm NOT sold on the fact that he's a Philbin guy. What if he's still on the bench in week 10 because he doesn't know the playbook... or run crisp routes... or doesn't runs routes as fast as Philbin wants... or doesn't complete routes on every play like Philbin wants... or says something non-Philbin to the media like in Pittsburgh... or...?

I always felt that a Linebacker JOB was to STOP the run help with middle field coverage and HIT the snot out of ppl. I don't want my linebacker covering TE's all day that what my safety and big corner we be doing. All this talk of dansby can cover, ellbe was beat in coverage as well. My point is stop bashing dansby as if he was a back up player.

Armando please post your story from last offseason about how the Dolphins were going to be in the afc east cellar because the Bills made so many great moves and the Jets, well they were supposed to battle the Patriots for the east.

I need a good laugh!

Can't believe Fitzpatrick was cut, what a mess.

And did anyone comment on my post from yesterday about the Bills GM being pranked by a couple of college kids? Did anyone else read that story?!

billcale, if all else fails all they would do is tell wallace to run a straight fly every play

phins 78 u have to listen to that call. bills gm rips fitz apart during call. prob why they had to cut him right after

My next move would be Pollard and Cromarti and maybe take a look at Pac Man Jones. Our D cordinator woked with Jones and got the best out of him.

Those three could make for a very interesting D. Then you get TE/CB/RB in draft. I really like both OL from Alabama. I think get our TE first round (though I would love to go DE)

Then get Fluker in the second (Traitor Saban says he is the best OL he has ever had. That has to pop the ears of the Patriots, and I think it should ours as well. Then you go RB or WR second pick in second. Then its CB's in the third.

Go Dolphins!! Fix the D backfield and we really look tough. Anyone think Ireland has an infatuation with Deffense? Oh and just bring back our old logo and the curse will officially be lifted. I only buy gear with the old logo anyway so just Bring Flipper back.

Yeah, dusty, wished they had done that with Egnew a few times. Here's hoping that Philbin has relaxed some of his disciplinarian approach.

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